Archives for category: Ethics

The New York Times conducted an investigation of Hasidic religious schools and reported that they are failing schools but have received more than $1 Billion in government funds in public funds in the past four years.

The Hasidic Jewish community has long operated one of New York’s largest private schools on its own terms, resisting any outside scrutiny of how its students are faring.

But in 2019, the school, the Central United Talmudical Academy, agreed to give state standardized tests in reading and math to more than 1,000 students.

Every one of them failed.

Students at nearly a dozen other schools run by the Hasidic community recorded similarly dismal outcomes that year, a pattern that under ordinary circumstances would signal an education system in crisis. But where other schools might be struggling because of underfunding or mismanagement, these schools are different. They are failing by design.

The leaders of New York’s Hasidic community have built scores of private schools to educate children in Jewish law, prayer and tradition — and to wall them off from the secular world. Offering little English and math, and virtually no science or history, they drill students relentlessly, sometimes brutally, during hours of religious lessons conducted in Yiddish.

The result, a New York Times investigation has found, is that generations of children have been systematically denied a basic education, trapping many of them in a cycle of joblessness and dependency.

Segregated by gender, the Hasidic system fails most starkly in its more than 100 schools for boys. Spread across Brooklyn and the lower Hudson Valley, the schools turn out thousands of students each year who are unprepared to navigate the outside world, helping to push poverty rates in Hasidic neighborhoods to some of the highest in New York.

The schools appear to be operating in violation of state laws that guarantee children an adequate education. Even so, The Times found, the Hasidic boys’ schools have found ways of tapping into enormous sums of government money, collecting more than $1 billion in the past four years alone.

City and state offficials have failed to enforce laws requiring religious schools to offer a curriculum that is substantially equivalent to those in public schools. The politicians defer to Hasidim because they vote as a bloc.

Their graduates are ill-prepared to enter society. Their knowledge of math, science, history, and basic grammar is meager.

The students in the boys’ schools are not simply falling behind. They are suffering from levels of educational deprivation not seen anywhere else in New York, The Times found. Only nine schools in the state had less than 1 percent of students testing at grade level in 2019, the last year for which full data was available. All of them were Hasidic boys’ schools.

We may never know the real answer to this question unless someone very close to Trump spills the beans. I have read many times or seen on TV interviews with Trump White House staff who said that Trump was not interested in intelligence briefings, that he seldom read the reports or the daily briefings, that he frequently ripped up important documents. Yet he took many boxes of documents with him when he left.

Some of the documents in the boxes that were retrieved in January and in August were classified as top secret. Some were marked HCS, meaning “Human Intelligence Control System.” Such documents identify sources who are our agents in other countries. Some folders marked”Classified” or “Top secret” were empty. Where were the contents?

The New York Times reported:

(https://www.nytimes.com/2022/08/27/us/politics/trump-documents-security-assessment-affidavit.html?smid=nytcore-ios-share&referringSource=articleShare)

Mr. Trump and his defenders have claimed he declassified the material he took to Mar-a-Lago. But documents retrieved from him in January included some marked “HCS,” for Human Intelligence Control System. Such documents have material that could possibly identify C.I.A. informants, meaning a general, sweeping declassification of them would have been, at best, misguided.

“HCS information is tightly controlled because disclosure could jeopardize the life of the human source,” said John B. Bellinger III, a former legal adviser to the National Security Council in the George W. Bush administration. “It would be reckless to declassify an HCS document without checking with the agency that collected the information to ensure that there would be no damage if the information were disclosed.”

In October 2021, the New York Times reported that U.S. intelligence officials sent a cable to all of its overseas agencies warning that an unusually high number of CIA undercover agents had been captured and/or killed in recent years.

Top American counterintelligence officials warned every C.I.A. station and base around the world last week about troubling numbers of informants recruited from other countries to spy for the United States being captured or killed, people familiar with the matter said.

And Trump took home with him a huge number of highly sensitive documents that included some identifying human sources of information in other countries. Some of the top secret files were empty.

Hmmm. Does 2+2=4?

Why would he want those names? How valuable would they be to his friends in other countries? What were they worth? To whom?

One consistent feature in Trump’s life: it’s always about money.

Filippa Mannerheim is a Swedish high school teacher and a critic of Sweden’s experiment in school privatization.

She writes.

Dear Sweden, let me tell you what a school is.

A school educates and dares and can demand effort. Sweden has forgotten what a school is. High school teacher Filippa Mannerheim gives a lesson to a country that has lost its grip.

Dear Sweden, since you seem to have completely lost your composure, here is a short, educational guide to help you along in your confused state.

Sweden, let me tell you what school is: A school is an academic place for knowledge and learning. A school is the nation’s most important educational institution with the aim of equipping the country’s young citizens with knowledge and abilities, so that they can develop into free and independent individuals, protect the country’s democratic foundations and with knowledge and skills contribute to the country’s continued prosperity – in times of peace as well as in troubled times .

A school is not a joint-stock company with profit as the main incentive. A school is a joint community building. A school has educated, subject-knowledgeable, qualified teachers with high status, good working conditions and great professional freedom. These teachers teach the country’s children in the country’s language.

A school has employed – not hired – resource staff: special teachers, school nurse, study and vocational guidance counselors, IT staff, janitors. A school does not have non-qualified persons behind the chair.

A school gives children who are falling behind extra support from trained special teachers. A school does not hand out digital tools or ineffective adaptations as substandard substitutes for extra support, just because it is cheaper.

A school has appropriate premises: adequately sized classrooms, an auditorium, a sports hall, a music hall, a home economics room with a kitchenette, crafts and lab rooms. A school has adequate equipment for theoretical and practical teaching, such as musical instruments, craft tools, laboratory equipment, teaching aids, working IT equipment and large amounts of fiction in class sets.

A school has a school library with trained librarians who keep an eye on the world, buy books, hold book talks and contribute with unique expertise in fiction and non-fiction, information search and source criticism. A school does not have a repository of some randomly selected books donated by parents and call this a “school library”. A school library is not “access to a public library”.

A school has a large school yard where children can jump rope, jump fence, play football, play marbles, play ghost ball, King and run around. A school yard is not a paved patch outside an apartment building.

A school is an architectural building – a proud landmark – adapted to a unique activity, namely teaching the country’s children. A school is not a bicycle cellar or an industrial premises where students get “theoretical skills” or a gym card at Sats, which is called “sports education” because it is cheaper.

A school is not a private playground for calculating corporate groups and corrupt ex-politicians who want to make a career in business. If you think so, you have seriously misunderstood what school is.

A school sells nothing because knowledge cannot be sold or bought. A school has a canteen that serves a well-planned lunch based on the Swedish Food Agency’s guidelines for a good and nutritious meal. A school does not send teenagers out to buy their daily lunch at a hamburger chain using a food stamp.

A school does not compete with other schools for school fees or easily taught students. A school has no incentive to set satisfaction ratings, as rating is a pressure-free exercise of authority – not a means of competition and a way to fish for new school customers.

A school educates and dares and can demand effort. A school is a community foundation, not a sandwich board for demanding parental customers. A school has an obvious consensus on what knowledge is and how it is taught using methods that rest on a scientific basis.

A school has teachers who conduct well-planned teaching, not teachers who send students home with work that parents are expected to help with in order for the school’s profit to be greater. A school has teachers who see themselves as academics and public servants, not marketers and influencers who hawk vacuum cleaners with the help of their students via Instagram accounts.

A school is an area where politicians strive for cooperation, long-termism, stability and the best interests of the citizens. A school is not allowed to become a bat in national political debates about cap issues or grades from year 4. The word “school” and “lobbyism” are never used in the same sense. A school system without a market is not a “communist government”.

We live in a country that has lost all understanding of what school is. We live in a country where the politicians have let go of the country’s own school system and are selling it off, piece by piece, to international companies.

We live in a country where students and parents get an image that school can be anything, however, anywhere and an image of themselves as school customers instead of parents and students. This is dangerous for the individual but even more dangerous for the nation at large.

Sweden, now you know what school is. What do you do with that knowledge?

By Filippa Mannerheim

Filippa Mannerheim is a high school teacher in Swedish and history, as well as a school debater. She attracted a lot of attention in the winter of 2020 with her open letter to Sweden’s Riksdag politicians on Expressen’s culture page, “Swedish school is a shame – you politicians have failed”.

A recent study by scientists at Yale concluded that it was possible to bring a dead pig back to life by injecting them with a solution soon to be patented. Their goal is to create a source of organs for transplants. The heart valves of pigs, for example, are often used in heart surgery for humans.

If the solution works on pigs, it would probably work on humans. However, the scientists took care not to reactivate the pigs’ brains.

The ethics issues are complex and profound, far above my pay grade. But we all need to think about what could happen next, or after that, or after that.

Science writer Gina Kolata wrote in the New York Times:

The pigs had been lying dead in the lab for an hour — no blood was circulating in their bodies, their hearts were still, their brain waves flat. Then a group of Yale scientists pumped a custom-made solution into the dead pigs’ bodies with a device similar to a heart-lung machine.

What happened next adds questions to what science considers the wall between life and death. Although the pigs were not considered conscious in any way, their seemingly dead cells revived. Their hearts began to beat as the solution, which the scientists called OrganEx, circulated in veins and arteries. Cells in their organs, including the heart, liver, kidneys and brain, were functioning again, and the animals never got stiff like a typical dead pig.

Other pigs, dead for an hour, were treated with ECMO, a machine that pumped blood through their bodies. They became stiff, their organs swelled and became damaged, their blood vessels collapsed, and they had purple spots on their backs where blood pooled.

The group reported its results Wednesday in Nature.

The researchers say their goals are to one day increase the supply of human organs for transplant by allowing doctors to obtain viable organs long after death. And, they say, they hope their technology might also be used to prevent severe damage to hearts after a devastating heart attack or brains after a major stroke….

The work began a few years ago when the group did a similar experiment with brains from dead pigs from a slaughterhouse. Four hours after the pigs died, the group infused a solution similar to OrganEx that they called BrainEx and saw that brain cells that should be dead could be revived.

That led them to ask if they could revive an entire body, said Dr. Zvonimir Vrselja, another member of the Yale team.

The OrganEx solution contained nutrients, anti-inflammatory medications, drugs to prevent cell death, nerve blockers — substances that dampen the activity of neurons and prevented any possibility of the pigs regaining consciousness — and an artificial hemoglobin mixed with each animal’s own blood.

When they treated the dead pigs, the investigators took precautions to make sure the animals did not suffer. The pigs were anesthetized before they were killed by stopping their hearts, and the deep anesthesia continued throughout the experiment. In addition, the nerve blockers in the OrganEx solution stop nerves from firing in order to ensure the brain was not active. The researchers also chilled the animals to slow chemical reactions. Individual brain cells were alive, but there was no indication of any organized global nerve activity in the brain.

There was one startling finding: The pigs treated with OrganEx jerked their heads when the researchers injected an iodine contrast solution for imaging. Dr. Latham emphasized that while the reason for the movement was not known, there was no indication of any involvement of the brain.

The older I get, the more I am inclined towards vegetarianism. Pigs are intelligent creatures. Do they exist only to serve our needs? Can we do as we wish with other creatures?

Please watch this fascinating series (part one and part two) by Australian television on the rank cynicism of Rupert Murdoch and FOX News.

Under his leadership, FOX turned into a propaganda machine for Trump. Its leading correspondents (Sean Hannity and Judge Jeanine) joined his rallies, urged people to vote for him. They ceased to be journalists.

The two parts are gripping and well worth watching. There are pending lawsuits against FOX, Rudy Guiliani, and Sidney Powell for slandering Dominion Voting Systems and Smartmatic, another voting machine used only in Los Angeles.

Powell and Guiliani both said numerous times that the voting systems were used to hack the vote and steal the election. Powell has since said that her claims were so ridiculous that no one took them seriously.

A must watch.

As readers of this blog know, the Network for Public Education has strongly supported reform of the federal Charter Schools Program, which got its start in 1994 to help mom-and-pop start-up charters. Led by Carol Burris, executive director of NPE, we released two reports showing that the CSP program had wasted nearly a billion dollars, that it funded white flight academies, that it was marred by waste, fraud, and abuse, and that it was a major funder for charter chains.

Biden’s Department of Education issued draft regulations to reform CSP, and the charter lobby spent millions pushing back against any reforms.

The charter lobby lost!

Jan Resseger reports the good news: the U.S. Department of Education stood its ground.

What is happening to the America that we swore allegiance to every day in public school? what happened to the America that was “indivisible, with liberty and justice for all”? How did we get a rogue Supreme Court that recklessly demolishes women’s rights, the separation of church and state, gun control, public safety, and efforts by government to prevent climate disasters? Who kidnapped the conservative Republican Party that believed in stability and tradition? From whence came the people who scorn the commonweal and ridicule Constitutional norms?

Former state legislator Jeanne Dietsch has an answer. Connect the dots by looking at what has happened to New Hampshire. The coup failed in Washington, D.C. on January 6, she writes. But it is moving forward in New Hampshire, with many of the same characters and all of the same goals.

If you read one post today, read this.

She writes:

During the last few weeks, US House leaders documented the nearly successful January 6 coup piece by piece, before our eyes. That personal power grab failed. Meanwhile, the steps clinching takeover of our government by radical reactionaries have nearly triumphed. A plan decades in the making. A plan nearly invisible to the ordinary public.


I can barely believe myself how this story weaves from Kansas to Concord to DC to the fields of southern Michigan over the course of six decades. It starts in Witchita. Koch Industries is the largest privately held company in the US, with over $115 billion in revenues, mostly fossil-fuel related. For many years, two of the founders’ sons, Charles and David Koch, each owned 42% of the company.


The younger, David, studied in the engineering department of MIT for 5 years, simultaneous with young John H. Sununu. Both finished their Master’s degrees in 1963.

1980: THE KOCHS SET THEIR GOALS


Seventeen years later, David Koch ran for Vice President of the US on the Libertarian ticket. The campaign was largely funded by Koch interests. The Libertarian platform of 1980, shown below, may look disturbingly familiar to those following news today.

Open her post to read the Koch Libertarian platform of 1980.

Libertarians demanded the abolition of Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, public schools, aid to children, the Post Office, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Energy, and more.

The infrastructure for achieving that platform was founded two years later. It was called the Federalist Society. It was a plan by a “small but influential group of law professors, lawyers, and judges.” Its goal?

To train members of their professions to believe in “originalism.” Originalists “strictly construe” the Constitution as they believed the Framers designed it way back in 1787. This matched David Koch’s 1980 platform. It would leave corporations free to do whatever profited them most without regard for social costs or regulations. Older Federalist Society members used their influence to advance their followers to higher judgeships.

SUNUNU FAMILY ROLES


Meanwhile, John Sununu became governor of New Hampshire, then Chief of Staff for President George W. Bush. In that role, John thwarted a plan for the US to join the international conference to address climate change in 1989. Actions like this, that benefitted Koch and the rest of the fossil-fuel industry, would become a hallmark of the Sununu family.


In 1993, an executive of Charles and David’s Koch Industries Michigan subsidiary, Guardian Industries, became a founding trustee of the Josiah Bartlett Center for Public Policy [JBC] in NH. Its mission was to advance many of the policies listed on David Koch’s platform of 1980. John Sununu, and later his son James, would chair the JBC board through today. Another of Sununu’s sons, Michael, would become a vocal climate denier and industry consultant. Still another, Senator John E. Sununu, would oppose the Climate Stewardship Act of 2003. But the Sununus were not coup leaders, just complicit.

BUILDING INFRASTRUCTURE FOR THE COUP


But let’s jump back to the Federalist Society. Its mission was succeeding. They were stacking the lower courts.?..Those justices hired young lawyers as clerks. From 1996-97, Thomas employed a Federalist Society clerk named John Eastman.


Twenty-three years later, Eastman would meet secretly with President Donald Trump. He would convince him that Vice President Pence could refuse to accept electoral college ballots on January 6. But back in 1999, Eastman became a senior fellow at the Claremont Institute. “The mission of the Claremont Institute is to restore the principles of the American Founding to their rightful, preeminent authority in our national life.”


Now we’re almost at the secret clubhouse of the coup. The Claremont Institute was run by a fellow regressive named Larry Arnn.(Photo below) In late 1999, Arnn was in the process of replacing the president of Hillsdale College because of a scandal that made national news. Hillsdale promotes conservative family values. Yet its leader was having an affair with his daughter-in-law. She committed suicide. Hillsdale was the central hub for Libertarian radicals so they needed a strong leader to pull them out of the mud.

Please read the rest of this fascinating post. There is one blatant error: she refers to “Clarence Thomas and Stephen Breyer” as Koch justices, but Breyer was a liberal justice appointed by Clinton. She must have meant the crackpot Alito.

Laugh or cry? I report. You decide.

The Republican lawmaker who drafted the training curriculum that schools would have to follow to allow teachers in Ohio to carry guns owns a gun training business that seemingly fits all the required steps in the bill.

Ohio schools could start arming any staff member as soon as mid-fall, but the training requirement has raised concerns about the involvement of a specific senator.

Although he denies any wrongdoing, state Sen. Frank Hoagland, a Republican from Mingo Junction, is being accused by critics of drafting the bill so his business could benefit financially.

Hoagland helped with the rewrite of House Bill 99, which allows any school board in Ohio to choose to arm school staff members with up to 24 hours of training.

The senator owns a business called S.T.A.R.T., which represents Special Tactics and Rescue Training. It is a firearm training and threat management business.

While the bill was being heard in the Senate Veterans and Public Safety Committee, hundreds came to oppose the bill. Throughout the entire hearing process, more than 350 people submitted testimony against the bill, while about 19 testified in favor.

One of those who testified in support was Dinero Ciardelli, the CEO of S.T.A.R.T. He did not identify himself as being with the company, but he did not legally have to. Hoagland just so happens to be the Chair of the Senate Veterans and Public Safety Committee, so he watched his colleague testify in favor of his bill.

The story: probably not a conflict of interest. On Mars.

Talk about cheesy! Talk about hypocrisy! Talk about weasels! Talk about betrayal of the public! Talk about disdain for democracy!

The people of Arizona voted overwhelmingly against vouchers, but the Koch-controlled GOP majority in the legislature is promoting a dramatic expansion of vouchers. Voters be damned!

To buy the support of public school parents, the legislators added a big increase in public school funding, but the new funding is available only if the vouchers are enacted.

Arizona has 1.1 million students, but only 11,775 have used vouchers to leave public schools. Now the Republicans want to fund vouchers for every student in the state. Does it matter that multiple academic studies have found that vouchers do not improve education? Of course not.

Do you think these guys know how repellent they are?

Four years after voters rejected a similar move, Republican lawmakers are pushing ahead with a plan to let any of the 1.1 million students in public schools get vouchers to attend private and parochial schools.

And they are holding a plan to boost aid to public schools hostage until they get what they want.

HB 2853, approved Wednesday by the House Ways and Means Committee on a 6-4 party-line vote, would remove all restrictions on who can get what are called Empowerment Scholarship Accounts. Backers say this ensures that parents get to decide what is the best option for their youngsters.

That assertion was disputed by Beth Lewis, executive director of Save Our Schools.

She said that unlike public schools, private schools can pick and choose who they want to accept. Lewis said those schools, many of which are for-profit corporations, accept those who will cost them the least, meaning the highest achievers and students who do not have special needs.

Republicans said they are not ignoring the needs of public schools, voting Wednesday for HB 2854, which would increase state aid to schools by $400 million, above another $250 million additional already planned.

But there’s less there than meets the eye.

First, only half of that additional cash is permanent. And it is weighted so the districts with the most students in financial need would get more.

Beyond that, schools would have to wait until the 2023-24 school year for the one-time $200 million infusion.

And there’s something else.

House Majority Leader Ben Toma, R-Peoria, who crafted both measures, included a “poison pill” of sorts: It says that if the vouchers do not become law, the public schools don’t get any of that $400 million.

That is designed to deter the education community from doing to HB 2853 what they did to a similar voucher expansion measure approved by GOP lawmakers in 2017.

They collected sufficient signatures to put the expansion on the 2018 ballot. And voters overruled the legislation by a margin of close to 2 to 1…

And Lewis told Capitol Media Services that supporters of public education won’t be deterred, vowing to go to the ballot once again if the Republican-controlled legislature approves universal vouchers. She said while that would mean the loss of $400 million — or, really, $200 million of ongoing funds — that is nowhere near the amount that public schools need in Arizona.

She pointed out that voters in 2020 approved Proposition 208 to infuse another nearly $1 billion into public education. That was sidelined after the Arizona Supreme Court ruled the tax could not be levied because it bumped up against a constitutional limit on education spending.

Lewis, the education community and their Democratic allies are not alone in saying schools need more than HB 2854 is offering.

Sen. Paul Boyer, R-Glendale, said he is holding out for an amount close to that $1 billion figure. And with only 16 Republicans in the 30-member Senate, the plan cannot get final approval without his vote.

Wednesday’s votes come as school districts won a significant legal victory, with a judge saying they are entitled to pursue claims that the legislature shorted them billions of dollars.

Dana Milbank tells the sad story of Elise Stefanik, a promising moderate who was elected to Congress from Upstate New York. But when power beckoned, she threw aside character, ethics, and principle to join the Trump brigade. For this once-moderate member of Congress, there are no bounds to her willingness to go full MAGA. She echoes the Great Donald, walking in lockstep with him and his Big Lie, even endorsing the “great replacement theory” that terrifies MAGA-Carlson voters but inspired a massacre of ten innocent Black people in Buffalo. A week after the massacre of children and teachers in Uvalde, Texas, Stefanik said she opposes gun control, but favors more funding for mental health. Anything for the base. Anything for power. Sad.

When John Bridgeland left a senior position in George W. Bush’s White House and joined Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government in the fall of 2004, an eager undergraduate got assigned to him as a student fellow and facilitator of his seminar.

“She was so excited because I was one of the few Republicans” then at the school’s Institute of Politics (IOP), Bridgeland told me this week. He remembered her as “extremely bright” and “through-and-through public-service-oriented.” She was so impressive in the seminar that he chose her to do a project with him selling Harvard students on the Peace Corps, AmeriCorps and other service opportunities. “I thought the world of her,” Bridgeland said.


The young woman’s name was Elise Stefanik.

Bridgeland secured her a job in the White House when she graduated in 2006, personally appealing to Chief of Staff Josh Bolten and other former colleagues to hire her. Bridgeland later encouraged her to run for Congress, which she did, successfully, in 2014 — and the New York Republican quickly established herself as a leading moderate. “I was so incredibly happy and proud,” Bridgeland said. “I viewed her as the bright light of her generation of leaders. She was crossing the aisle. She was focused on problem-solving. She had the highest character.”


And then, he said, “this switch went off.”
Today, the world sees a much different Stefanik. This past week, after the racist massacre in Buffalo, attention turned to her articulation of “great replacement” theory, the white-supremacist conspiracy beliefs said to have propelled the alleged killer. Before that, she had been a prominent election denier, voting to overturn the 2020 results after the Jan. 6 insurrection, and then using the issue to oust and replace House Republican Conference Chairwoman Liz Cheney (Wyo.) because she refused to embrace President Donald Trump’s election lies.

Now, Stefanik has thrown her support, as the No. 3 House GOP leader, behind a proposal to “expunge” Trump’s impeachment for his role in the insurrection. She has joined a small group of extreme backbenchers as co-sponsors of the resolution, which casts doubt again on Joe Biden’s “seeming” win, citing “voting anomalies.” The resolution has no purpose (there’s no constitutional way to expunge impeachment) other than to sow further distrust of democracy.


It’s a story told a thousand times: Ambitious Republican official abandons principle to advance in Trump’s GOP. But perhaps nobody’s fall from promise, and integrity, has been as spectacular as the 37-year-old Stefanik’s. “I was just so shocked she would go down such a dark path,” said her former champion, Bridgeland. “No power, no position is worth the complete loss of your integrity. It was just completely alarming to me to watch this transformation. I got a lot of notes saying, ‘What happened to her?’ ”
The answer is simple: “Quest for power,” Bridgeland said. “But power without principle is a pretty dark place to go. She wanted to climb the Republican ranks and she has, but … she’s climbed the ladder on the back of lies about the election that are undermining trust in elections, putting people’s lives at risk.”


As a candidate in 2014, Stefanik refused to sign Grover Norquist’s no-tax pledge, a Republican purity test. Then the youngest woman ever elected to Congress, she became a co-chair of the Tuesday Group of Republican moderates. She boasted about being among the most bipartisan lawmakers. She criticized Trump’s “insulting” treatment of women, his “untruthful statements,” and his proposed Muslim ban and border wall.


But Trump’s huge popularity in her upstate New York district changed all that. She became one of Trump’s most caustic defenders during his first impeachment. After Trump’s 2020 loss, she embraced the “big lie,” making a stream of false claims about voter fraud, court actions and voting machines, and urging the Supreme Court to reject the results.

When Bridgeland saw his former protegee’s lies about the election, “I was shattered. I was really heartbroken,” he told me. Alumni of Harvard’s IOP petitioned to remove Stefanik from its advisory committee, and Bridgeland signed it. “I had to,” he said, “because Constitution first.” Stefanik called her removal a “badge of honor” and a decision on the school’s part “to cower and cave to the woke left.”


Bridgeland, a career-long policy innovator who still considers himself a Republican, retains a flicker of hope that his former student might return to her early promise, recant the lies, and prove true Ralph Waldo Emerson’s belief that if a “single man plant himself indomitably on his instincts, and there abide, the huge world will come round to him.”


“People become totally ruined by their failure to stand up for the good and the true, but I do think she has the spark still and could awaken to it,” Bridgeland said. “It’s not too late.”

For our country’s sake, I wish I could believe that.